leonie cooper in a blue blazer and red jewellery

Leonie Cooper holds Merton & Wandsworth Assembly seat for Labour

Labour’s Leonie Cooper has retained her seat at the London Assembly for Merton & Wandsworth with a comfortable victory over Conservative Louise Calland.

The Labour candidate won 75,468 votes, while the Conservatives managed 60,968, on a 47% turnout, extending her majority to 14,500 votes.

Labour first took the seat from the Conservatives in 2016 who had held it since the GLA’s inception in 2000.

Cooper said: “I’d like to thank the returning officer, and I’d like to thank all the staff who have been here since seven o’clock this morning.

“It’s a privilege to be making this speech having just won the vote and I look forward to working collaboratively as the Assembly goes cross party.”

The 2016 Merton & Wandsworth contest was closer with Wandsworth councillor Cooper beating Tory newcomer David Dean by 77,340 votes to 73,039 on a 50% turnout.

With UKIP not standing in this year’s contest and the Conservatives performing worse than expected, it was a much better night for the Greens who got 22,793 votes, while the Liberal Democrats won 18,818.

In the lead up to the election Conservative sources were predicting a swing from red to blue, expecting a 30% turnout, but vastly underestimated Cooper’s support.

Wandsworth councillor Calland’s defeat follows an unsuccessful run in the 2019 general election where she lost by 1180 votes to Labour’s Jon Trickett in the West Yorkshire constituency of Hemsworth.

Speaking about her plans for the rest of the evening Cooper said: “I might go for a drink, or I might just have to go for a lie down.”

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